Stones or Bytes?

14 July 2021

With more and more physical and digital data becoming available, libraries are sometimes faced with the question of what to do: invest in buildings or in digital infrastructures? Herman Selderhuis, rector of the Theological University of Apeldoorn shares his thoughts on investing in stones or in bytes.

No Space to Expand

The Theological University of Apeldoorn is located on a beautiful park, surrounded by trees, ponds, lawns and yet close to the city center, to public transportation and to several freeways. Monastic and vibrant, quiet and accessible, just a great place for research and study. Yet, this great spot is also our problem. Our library is close to reaching its limits, there is no space to expand and nobody wants to leave the Wilhelminapark.

No Stones, but Bytes

Problem? Not at all, as RESILIENCE has come to the rescue and helped us to see that we do not need stones but bytes. We do not need to expand, but we just need to make use of the fascinating research infrastructure RESILIENCE is growing to be, as it gives us access to a wealth of digital resources. We do not need an extra-building, since RESILIENCE is the building that contains all we need.

Being a partner of the RESILIENCE consortium TUA has contributed with its expertise to building this research infrastructure , so why not also make use of it?

This rhetorical question by the way, can also be asked by other institutions as RESILIENCE is open to partnerships and wants to serve all research in Religious Studies. Certainly, also a research infrastructure needs stones, as RESILIENCE works with manuscripts, uses locations for training etc., but ‘bytes’ is just as much fundamental material, and that is a great help for the TUA library. And also for those who want to use its collection but are not able to come to Apeldoorn (yet).

–  Herman J. Selderhuis, Rector of the Theological University of Apeldoorn